Hubspot, (who are extremely consistent in their blogging) is a company I’ve mentioned in several previous blog posts. Every year they publish a report on the state of Inbound Marketing and their latest report is now available HERE.
For those of you who may be unaware, blogging forms a key part of Inbound Marketing by helping to pull visitors to your website through the content they have found online, in search, social and advertising platforms.
In previous years Hubspot has highlighted how increasing the number of blog posts published per month can lead to an increase in the number of sales leads generated.
This year one of the key areas they highlight is the top marketing priorities for the next 12 months, of the company’s surveyed.
Top marketing priorities:
- Increasing revenue derived from existing customers
- Growing traffic to website
- Converting contracts/leads to customers
These are areas where blogging can be used to influence results
Why wouldn’t you set up and manage a blog?
Yes, it takes time, effort and resource and it’s a longer-term approach BUT.
In a busy, competitive (and fragmented) marketing world it’s a great way to get your message out to your audience in a way that you completely control.
In a busy world, it makes sense to try to eliminate or reduce risks by building your own audience. By building your own audience you are:
- Reducing the risk of your message getting lost in the internet wilderness
- Publishing content to an audience that has expressed an interest in your business and what you offer
- Positively positioning your business in a competitive marketplace
- Giving your business a voice
- Potentially reducing the costs of lead generation
- Providing a vehicle to cross-sell/up-sell
- Giving yourself the ability to continually build your audience
What’s the best way to get started?
It’ll be no surprise to anyone who has read any of my previous blogs or visited my website that the first step should be to plan what you want to achieve and how you’ll do this.
A plan will keep you on track, on message and ensure you stick to your schedule but the biggest problem most businesses face is generating the content. You have three options:
- Create the content in-house
- Outsource it to a specialist
- Curate other people’s content
There are millions of blogs out there in the blogosphere but the majority of these sites are not well maintained. You’ll find that many have not had content posted for months (or years) and in truth, they’ve been forgotten about. This can lead to negative impressions as visitors’ browse an out-of-date blog site, not an outcome you want.
Many blogs start out with great gusto but quickly fall by the wayside as “business” gets in the way and time gets re-prioritised.
Successful blogging needs relevancy and consistency, that’s why you need a plan.Looking for reasons to start a Blog? Check out this post, why wouldn't you tell a friend
So if you currently manage a blog or are thinking about starting one, you need to be aware of the time it takes to plan, research and create each blog post. If you have the resource to do so, that’s great, get on with it.
If you don’t, then think of the opportunity cost involved e.g. is it more cost-effective to outsource blog creation, allowing you to focus on what you do best, running your business or department?
A great blog post can be the catalyst for additional content ideas as part of the big picture. You can find out how it can make your marketing activities more effective by downloading and reading Marcus Sheridan’s ebook.
Take a look at your competitor’s websites, do they have a blog? If so, is it up-to-date?, Does it provide relevant content?. Posting company news is NOT blogging. By carrying out this research you may find that you have an opportunity to capture the high ground and consolidate your position in the market.
If your businesses want to start a blog but you don’t have the time or the inclination, I can help. Sign up for my Ghost Blogging and content marketing services and get ahead of your competition.
For more information download the guide Driving Sustainable Growth or get in touch, call 01803 413481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org